The heart of the Fort Mill Fire Department is the three operational shifts that work on rotating 24-hour shifts of 12 firefighters. These firefighters staff our four apparatus on a daily basis: 1 Engine Company, 1 Ladder Company, 1 Medical Response Unit and 1 Battalion Chief Car.
These crews respond in many types of hazards on a daily basis. The basic grouping of hazards are fires, medical emergencies, technical rescue incidents, hazardous material releases and other service type incidents. One area that non-firefighters find confusing is the technical rescue hazards. These type of hazards include vehicle extrications or persons trapped in confined spaces.
Some often wonder what firefighters do during a typical 24 hour shift. Our firefighters must consider their assigned station like it is their home as they live there for a third of the year. Our firefighters can typically be found doing the following on a daily basis:
- Respond to emergencies – This is our top priority!
- Ensuring all apparatus and equipment is ready for response.
- Training to ensure they can proficiently handle emergencies.
- Conducting physical fitness activities to ensure they are physically fit to handle emergencies.
- Inspection and maintenance of hydrants
- Conduct pre-incident planning on commercial structures
- Installing smoke detectors upon request
- Cleaning and maintaining the station
Many in the fire service consider their coworkers to be part of their family. The strong bonds that are created as our firefighter’s work and live together are the bonds that help keep them safe during emergency incidents. Every firefighter trusts his or her fellow firefighter with their life as they work together in difficult situations.